The crafty manager who cheated the rich landowner offers an example of what it means to settle for the passing instead of what is lasting. I share examples from my early assignments as a Campus Minister at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY from 1972- 1976.
Following is the text of a rabbinic story that I shared.
A man once caught stealing was ordered by the king to be hanged. On the way to the gallows he said to the governor that he knew a wonderful secret and it would be a pity to allow it to die with him and he would like to disclose it to the king. He would put a seed of a pomegranate in the ground and through the secret taught to him by his father he would make it grow and bear fruit over night. The thief was brought before the king and on the morrow the king, accompanied by the high officers of state, came to the place where the thief was waiting for them.Moses Gaster, The Exempla of the Rabbis (London: Asia Publishing, 1924).
There the thief dug a hole and said, “This seed must only be put in the ground by a someone who has never stolen or taken anything which did to belong to him. I being a thief cannot do it.” So he turned to the governor who, frightened , said that in his younger days he had retained something which did not belong to him. The treasurer said that dealing with such large sums, he might have entered too much or too little and even the king owned that he had kept a necklace of his father’s. The thief then said, “You are all mighty and powerful and want nothing and yet you cannot plant the seed, whilst I who have stolen a little because I was starving, am to be hanged.’ The king, pleased with the ruse of the thief, pardoned him.
This is the Fourth Sunday in Kingdomtide. There are thirteen weeks in this final quarter of this year’s “Seasons of Grace,” the liturgical year revised according to the cycle of The Bible Through the Seasons. For a calendar of this whole year, together with ways to interpret the church year, visit the menu item “Seasons of Grace: Liturgical Calendar”.